The Real Deal New York

LIC businesses hope Fresh Direct is replaced quickly

February 27, 2012 09:00AM

Long Island City businesses that thrived off of Fresh Direct’s presence in the neighborhood fear life after the grocer’s departure and hope a new business takes the 300,000-square-foot space soon, Crain’s reported.

New York Deli on Borden Avenue, which sold lunch to many Fresh Direct employees, vendors and financiers, Public Service Truck Renting, which leased trucks for food delivery, and Chamption Automotive Fleet Services, a garage that housed cars for the company and its workers, are just three of the many local business affected by the departure of some 2,000 employees from the area.

Though local business leaders admitted disappointment by the grocer’s move in the short term, they remain “optimistic about [Long Island City’s] industrial community,” according to Gayle Baron, executive director of the Long Island City Partnership. She expects the space to be filled relatively quickly. The Queens Economic Development Corp also noted that because contractors tend to work across all boroughs, it suspects only a few small local business will be harmed. [Crain’s]